An alcohol withdrawal period may occur when a person stops or reduces drinking after doing it for a prolonged time. Withdrawal is more likely to occur in heavy drinkers or those who have formed an alcohol dependence. Many people are under the impression that quitting alcohol is easy, but in fact, it can be one of the most uncomfortable and dangerous substances to withdraw from.
What is Alcohol Withdrawal?
Alcohol withdrawal occurs due to the decreased response of certain receptors in the brain. Heavy, long-term drinking rewires the brain’s receptors enough to cause harsh withdrawal symptoms when the alcohol is removed. These symptoms indicate a diagnosis of alcoholism. Withdrawal from alcohol can vary widely and is highly individual. Several factors influence the severity, including the following:
- Duration of drinking
- Amount consumed
- Co-occurring mental health issues
- Stress levels
- Family history of drinking
- Use of other substances at the same time
The more dependent a person is, the more severe the symptoms of withdrawal. Delirium tremens, or DTs, makes alcohol withdrawal very dangerous. This doesn’t happen to everyone and it doesn’t necessarily happen right away, which is why alcohol withdrawal should be supervised.
Symptoms and Complications of Alcohol Withdrawal
Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may appear as soon as six hours after the last drink, or they may take up to a day to start. There are three stages of severity for withdrawal from alcohol.
Stage one is considered the mildest and may consist of heart palpitations, foggy brain, vomiting or nausea, insomnia, fatigue and tremors.
Stage two is considered moderately severe and may include high blood pressure, high body temperature, irregular heartbeat, sweating, confusion and irritability.
Stage three, or delirium tremens, is the most severe and may consist of hallucinations, seizures, fever, agitation and debilitating confusion. This stage happens to only about five percent of patients withdrawing from alcohol. DTs may not manifest until up to two days after alcohol fully leaves the bloodstream, which is one of the reasons they’re so dangerous. Patients may only experience mild withdrawal before a sudden onset of DTs.
Detox for Alcohol Withdrawal
For those with a dependence, the best way to deal with alcohol withdrawal is through medical detox. Treatment for an alcohol addiction must start with detox. By attending a dedicated detox center like Serenity House Detox in Houston, Texas, you can not only safely withdraw from alcohol with medical supervision, but you can do so away from distractions and the threat of relapse.
At Serenity House, you can expect the following:
- Supervision by a skilled medical team
- Safe and comfortable environment
- Gender-specific detox programs
- Addiction treatment medicine
- One-on-one therapy
Don’t let an addiction to alcohol control your life. Take the first step to a lasting recovery with alcohol detox at Serenity House Detox. Give us a call today at 866.516.8356. Don’t try to detox from alcohol by yourself. Let us guide you to a new life, alcohol-free.